Sunday, November 13, 2011

Zerubbabel Collins

Among the many monuments in the quiet field of the Church Grounds is a white marble marker signed Z. Collins.

This stone features a winged, moon-like face - one of several soul effigies found in this section - surrounded by a stylized floral design. The inscription notes that this stone was erected in memory of Femmitie Snyder, wife of Nicholas Snyder and daughter of the Reverend Ulpianus Van Sinderen. Femmitie died at the age of 37 on October 14, 1789. Her father, Reverend Van Sinderen, had come from Holland in 1746 to preach in Dutch Reformed Churches in what is now Brooklyn.

Zerubbabel Collins was one of his era's most respected stonecarvers. Like his father, Benjamin Collins, he specialized in gravestones embellished with soul effigies. Examples of his work can be found in Vermont and Connecticut graveyards.

Several rows away from Femmitie Snyder's stone, the stone of William Woods bears a very similar soul effigy, but with very different downswept wings and less ornate designs around the face. This monument, which is not signed, is dated two years after Collins' death.

More on Zerubbabel Collins
The Church Grounds Project


  1. The William Woods stone is attributable to Zerrubabel's son James, who inherited his father's carving tools and marble quarry in Shaftsbury, Vermont. To learn more about the work of the Collins and the tradition of gravestone carving in Bennington County, Vermont, from 1770-1830 visit the Bennington Museum between February 2 and May 22, 2012 to see the exhibition, Memento Mori: The Art and Commerce of Gravestones in Bennington

  2. Collins link seems to have migrated to